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Reimbursement and Practice Management


Triple Crown Leadership and Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic

What makes your clinic great? What makes your clinic and business staff “the best” for your specialty in your market? What makes you great? Recently I revisited the award-winning book Triple Crown Leadership: Excellent, Ethical and Enduring Organizations (Bob & Gregg Vanourek, 2012). The answers to “What makes Mayo Clinic great?” strike a positive chord.

  • A focus on “patient first” by everyone (not always as easy as it seems when balancing margin and mission)
  • Collaboration allows Mayo to pursue its collective best
  • The people that work for Mayo are passionate about “job one” — focusing on the patient and embracing collaboration to ensure care and service are best in class

When hiring, Mayo seeks “not stars but a constellation.” Those individuals who want personal accolades will not find a good fit at Mayo. Conversely, those who thrive on working together can excel.

The clinic’s hiring process is similar to casting a Broadway show. They are creating an ensemble to provide world-class patient care. Mayo “auditions” try to get at: How does this person demonstrate their ability to contribute to the collective best — for the patient. Is there a cultural fit?

Meeting the exacting standards of care and service requires an ongoing commitment from everyone. The pursuit of clinical and service excellence is also embedded in the continuous development of each person — an essential component of the Mayo Clinic collective. This professional focus is woven into surgeries, consultations, staff meetings, and career paths — really, in just about everything employees do.

At Mayo, physicians and staff are paid and compensated through an all-salary system. They are not paid by the number of tests conducted, patients seen, or surgeries performed. This allows a more singular focus on the care provided and reinforces the culture of collaboration.

According to Kent Seltman, PhD former director of marketing at Mayo, “Most people at Mayo Clinic feel they are a better employee there than other places they have worked. They don’t want to be the one who lets Mayo Clinic down. Mayo inspires people to do their best.”

What makes you, your clinic or medical group and staff great? Think about it. Articulate it. Celebrate it.

A companion “read” you might also consider, with an inside look at Mayo Clinic, is Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic: Inside one of the world’s most admired service organizations (Leonard Barry and Kent Seltman, PhD, 2008).

United States